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Illegal termination of contract can be defined as the situation where employee’s contract of work is terminated without valid reasons. The issue of contract being illegally terminated is on rise in the recent years. Different countries have developed legal mechanisms to protect workers from being affected by unlawful termination of their work contracts. The laws that have been put in place ensure that the person who is affected by the vice is fully compensated from the unlawful termination of his/her work contract. This helps reduce cases of managers taking advantage of employees by using their positions to revenge for personal misunderstandings. This also ensures that an employee is not unfairly treated by his/her seniors within the organization. It is very painful for one to have his/her contract of work terminated without any valid reasons. This kind of an action amounts to an inhumane act and should not be encouraged at any given time in any organization.
This paper seeks to explore the legal rights of John and Margaret, who are the two employees of a certain supermarket whose work contract have been illegally terminated by their manager Dave. The essay will also explore the best legal action that they can take in order to sue the company for compensation due to the unlawful termination of their work contract.
If an employer takes an action against an employee by firing him or her without a valid reason, this amounts to illegal termination of the work contract. The affected employee has a right to sue the employer for the damages arising from the termination. The employee can sue for damages such as loss of earnings as well as other fringe benefits. The worker can also seek for damages if the termination is against the public policies that are in place; he or she can seek for what is known as punitive damages. Therefore, John and Margaret can take a legal action by suing the supermarket for the damages that have been mentioned above.
In order to bring a successful illegal work termination suit, the worker should be in a position to produce the express agreement for continued work/employment. If not than the worker should be able to produce an implied agreement, which is based on the situation/circumstance under which the worker in question was employed/ hired. If the two documents are not available, the worker in question must be in a position to provide legitimate argument/reasons that make him/her believe that the work he /she was doing was on the permanent basis. In our case, John and Margaret should be in a position to prove that their work contract involved them working for the supermarket on permanent basis.
In the case where the termination violates the statutory prohibitions, such as discrimination on the basis of one’s gender, race, age or sexual preferences, then the employee in question can sue for damages. The termination under the above situations amounts to discharge, which is against the public policies. For example, in case of vengeance for exposing a dishonest act on the part of the employer, the employee in question is protected under the employment laws. John and Margaret, I believe, are victims of illegal termination of their work contract and should bring a legal action in form of suing the supermarket for damages. They can also in addition sue the supermarket for breach of their employment contract. It is very clear that the action taken by Dave, the supermarket manager, shows that there were no valid reasons for the manager to terminate the work contract. The allegation of Dave against John being the thief of the alcohols in the stores has no legal grounds. The manager has no tangible evidence to prove that John was the thief. The action taken to dismiss John without any valid evidence to prove the allegation against him can be termed as illegal termination of contract. This, on the other hand, amounts to breach of work contract. Thereby, John has all the reasons to push for legal suit to seek for damages as he has the grounds of winning the case.
On the other hand, Margaret is another victim of illegal termination of her work contract. The circumstances under which her work is terminated clearly show that there were no valid reasons for the employment/ work contract to be terminated as well. Her action to go and defend John, her co-worker in the store, did not provide any reasonable ground for Dave to take the action that he took against her. I strongly believe that she can pursue legal suit, which has high probability of going through successfully. She can sue the supermarket for damages that one is entitled to as a result of illegal termination of work contract.
It is up to John and Margaret to prove that they were unfairly treated by Dave, but they should also go an extra mile to prove that the firing in a way was ‘wrongful’. This means that they should prove that one or more of their legal rights in a way were violated by Dave during the firing process.
Briefly, illegal termination of work contract can be said to be an expulsion of a worker for unlawful reasons. Unlawful termination of work contract includes discharge that violates shared bargaining power, based on rejection of sexual harassment or in vengeance for the worker having filed protest touching the manager. This part of regulation applies in terminations, positive expulsion, reductions in power as well as layoffs and demotions plus denial of employee promotion opportunities.
Based on the situation under which John and Margaret were fired from their work by Dave, their legal rights were violated and on the basis of those rights, they can seek for damages. The two can sue the supermarket on the following legal basis under which their rights were violated. This basis can provide a good ground for them to win a suit against the supermarket.
Legal Rights that are Violated
This section of the essay discusses in details the rights of John and Margaret that were violated when their work contract was terminated illegally. On the basis of proving violation of these rights, they can take legal action against their employer for damages.
(i)Violation of the legal right of written promises. John and Margaret legal right of their written agreement over job security was violated by Dave. On the basis of this violation of the terms of the agreement, the two can sue the supermarket and win the suit. The written promise document provides good ground for basing their case where their right was violated. They can prove that Dave went contrary to the written promise when firing them as there was no good/valid reason to fire them.
(ii)Violation of implied promises legal right. John and Margaret can sue the supermarket on the grounds of violation of the implied contract. These are the cases where the employer goes contrary to the promise of continued work. In our case, Dave goes against the promise when he fires Margaret from her work. The two must be in a position to prove that such kind of implied promise existed by producing written document to support their argument.
(iii)Breaching of good faith as well fair dealing right. In our legal case problem, Dave violates the right of John to a fair hearing, as he does not give him a chance to defend himself against the allegations raised on him. Dave goes to an extent of firing him without any evidence available to prove the allegations in question. This are the basis under which John can sue the supermarket for failing to treat him fairly by not giving him chance to defend himself against the allegations that were raised against him.
(iv)Violation of Public Policy. If the two victims of the act of violation of their term of work believe that they were fired on the basis of their race, sex or age, they can sue the supermarket for damages arising from that discharge. The two on this ground have a better chance to convince the court that their employer violated the public policy when firing them. If the two have enough evidence to prove their suit on this ground, then their employer will be compelled by the court to pay them damages that were mentioned earlier in this paper.
(v)Fraud. The two employees, John and Margaret, can sue the supermarket on the basis of fraud. If they have enough evidence that the action of Dave amounted to fraud, then they can be in a position to get compensation from the court of law. If the intention of the manager were to commit fraud contrary to the employment laws that govern the country, the two employees have good ground of convincing the court to compel their employer to pay them damages for the suffering that they have incurred as a result of their work contract being illegally terminated.
(vi)Retaliation. Margaret stands better to win the suit on this ground. Her illegal discharge from work was based on her action to seek the reasons behind the firing of John, who was her co-worker. If she can be in a position to prove the court that Dave fired her as retaliation action, then she has a good ground of being compensated by the supermarket. The manager clearly fired her due to her action of filing complain against unfair discharge of her co-worker. The manager tells her to mind her business; this clearly shows that the manager action to fire her was based on the complaint that she made against the unfair dismissal of John.
(vii)Defamation. The action of firing the two employees by Dave amounted to defamation. The issue of firing John on the ground of stealing alcohol from the store without any tangible evidence amounts to defamation. John can sue the supermarket to be compelled to pay for damages arising from the action of the supermarket to discharge him without any valid reason. The two have strong grounds to prove the court that the action of the manager to fire them amounted to defamation. They can base their argument on the ground of the outcome of the investigation that proved that John was not the person behind the theft of alcohol from the store.
(viii) Whistle blowing. It is very evident that Margaret was discharged on the basis of her whistle blowing action. Dave dismissed her after her enquiring on the reasons behind firing of John without having proved the allegations against him. If the employee can prove to the court that she was discharged as result of her whistle blowing action, then the court can compel the employer to compensate Margaret for damages that she incurred as a result of illegal termination of her work contract.
Legal Action against the Violation of Legal Rights
This section of the essay gives advice to John and Margaret on the possible course of action that they can take against their employer for illegally terminating their work contract.
(i)Suit against the employer for damages. John and Margaret have valid reasons to sue the employer for illegally terminating their work contract. The two can argue it on the basis of defamation, violation of public policy, whistle blowing, and retaliation. If they base their argument on these grounds, they have better chances of convincing the court that their legal rights were violated when their employer terminated work contract illegally. The court can rule in their favour, and the damages they have suffered due to termination of work contract will be fully compensated.
(ii) Legal suit against breach of contract. The two employees can file a suit against the company on the grounds of breach of contract. They can base their evidence of implied contract right as well as written promises right. The can prove to the court that their work contracts were illegally terminated by the employer. They can clearly prove to the court that their employer had no valid reasons to terminate their work contracts. The court can compel the employer to compensate the employees for all the time that they were illegally out of work. The employer can also be compelled to reinstate the two back to their work.
The two are the main legal actions that John and Margaret can take against their employer for illegally terminating their work contracts. If they base their case on the evidence that was indicated in this paper, the two will have a strong ground to prove that the employer must compensate them for damages they suffered as result of illegal termination of work contract.
From the analysis of John and Margaret case, it is very clear that many employees suffer as a result of illegal termination of their work contract. Termination occurs without valid reasons in most cases. The employer in these cases goes against the labour laws that are in place in the state from which the affected employee comes from. It is very clear from the analysis that there are some legal actions that an employee can take against his/her employer for illegally terminating the work contract. The two most successful legal remedies that an employee can employ in pursuit of justice include suit for damages and suit against breach of contract. With valid reason, the court may rule in favour of the employee where, he/she gets compensated for damages that are incurred as result of unlawful termination of work contract.